When covid-19 became a pandemic nearly two years ago, Kanesha Barnes-Adams undertook a difficult task to help students whose education would be affected in some way due to the crisis. sanitary.
“When covid hit, I created the first virtual tutoring program for the state, but it came out of AR Kids Read,” Barnes-Adams said, referring to the literacy intervention program with which she worked. “We got funding from the Walton Foundation, and we didn’t have to put our programming on hold.”
The National AfterSchool Association took note of Barnes-Adams’ long career in creating and supporting afterschool programs and named the Pine Bluff resident one of its 2022 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders. The 30-year-old curriculum consultant and former teacher will be featured in the spring issue of AfterSchool Today magazine.
The NAA is the primary organization for the advancement of professionals after school, according to a press release.
As a consultant, Barnes-Adams participates in after-school programs and strives to make them successful. She is CEO and founder of EduScape, an educational technology platform, and Bearapy, a program that uses books and bears to promote positive self-care.
“I’ve worked with probably 15-20 different afterschool programs across the state, and now my consulting firm has a contract with the Arkansas Afterschool Alliance where I will oversee all of their reading programs for 45-50 afterschool programs, Barnes-Adams said. “My job is just to look at what they’re doing, to think about assessment metrics, how to communicate with parents, how to make sure what’s going on in the curriculum reflects what’s happening or not happening in school, and that’s a lot of what the work that I do is wrapped around.
Much of Barnes-Adams’ professional career has revolved around after-school programs. Joining the Teach for America program, she was sent back to Pine Bluff to teach at Lighthouse Charter School and was later assigned to the Helena-West Helena School District.
She started programs at both places.
“They had some of the best grades,” Barnes-Adams said of her students. “They were really fast, really smart and really nice. When I left, another teacher took it over and carried on. When I went to Helena, I did the same thing, I started a club of girls after school called ROYAL — Reminding Our Youngsters About leadership They had some of the best grades in school When I left another TFA member took over.
Barnes-Adams returned to her alma mater Watson Chapel School District as an instructional coach and started an after-school drama club.
“I was always doing something after school to support enrichment, what kids weren’t getting in school or just give them an outlet to do something outside of what was happening in school” , she said.
The career Barnes-Adams has built is very different from her planned path to becoming a lawyer. Faced with the high cost of law school, she earned a master’s degree in psychology from Oklahoma State University with plans to become a counselor.
Now she is seen as a leader in helping children grow past the last bell.
“The National AfterSchool Association knows that strong afterschool leaders develop skilled professionals and teams who manage strong organizations and quality programs that result in positive outcomes for young people,” said President and CEO. NAA executive Gina Warner. “These emerging leaders will help shape the extracurricular field and the profession for years to come.”